Twenty-third UNCTAD-OECD Report on G20 Investment Measures

This 23rd report, jointly prepared by the OECD and UNCTAD Secretariats, covers investment and investment-related measures that G20 Members have taken between 16 October 2019 and 15 May 2020. It documents policy actions that G20 Members have taken in the last months preceding the pandemic and in response to the unprecedented economic crisis that followed, just a decade after the Global Financial Crisis.

Many countries were still preparing and refining their investment policy responses, when this report was finalised for release; this report takes a snapshot of their actions as of mid-May 2020.

According to the report, the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards investment policies designed to safeguard national security interests against threats associated with international investment. Reforms added health-related industries and associated supply chains that are crucial for the pandemic response to the scope of foreign investment screening mechanisms or strengthened control across the board to prevent acquisitions in any sector where companies suffer from temporary financial stress.

Some other policy measures of G20 Members in this area were unrelated to the COVID pandemic and included, for example, the lowering of the participation-thresholds that trigger the foreign investment review mechanism, the broadening of review criteria and the reinforcement of procedural rules. These measures need to be monitored and international dialogue should be strengthened to find the right balance between managing risks while taking advantage of the opportunities that FDI brings to countries, stresses the report.